Distributor Spotlight: Advanced People Strategies Developing UK's Next Generation of Leaders

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Wed, Mar 15, 2017

At a time when organizations across the globe are struggling to identify and develop the right leaders, Hogan has made it a priority to leverage decades of research to ensure all of its clients and partners are equipped with the best tools available. As a result, the Hogan Distributor Network has experienced a great deal of success against its competition, and the result is a much more effective global workforce.

A prime example of implementing a leadership development program “the Hogan way” is Hogan’s UK distributor, Advanced People Strategies (APS). Led by Managing Director Chris Humphreys, APS has more than 15 years of experience in helping organizations develop leaders both in the UK and abroad. Most recently, they spent a year assisting one of the UK’s top engineering firms with the implementation of a robust leadership development program. 

APS Case Study

Advanced People Strategies have been able to support a leading British civil engineering company over the past 12 months in the latest leadership and development program. The organization is recognized as one of the UK’s leading engineering solutions providers, and work on some of the biggest infrastructure projects within the UK.

The aim was to create a leadership pipeline for the business and to do this more objectively, removing personal biases that can come into play. The organization wanted a leadership and development program that could identify and develop candidates. Using APS’s expertise working with senior managers, APS was able to devise and support this goal with the use of the Hogan suite as part of its development centers.

APS ran five development centers which included a variety of individual and group based activities. Most of the candidates were very well established within the business although some had differing levels of experience. Using Hogan allowed the organization to add further objectivity when reviewing and selecting people for follow-up development programs.

APS supported the organization with a guided review of each participant. The Hogan Suite was used to predict potential and fit to future strategic leadership roles. These predictions were reviewed alongside the levels of skill observed on the development centers, people’s track record and references from within the organization.

The company was happy that it met its objectives to act on unbiased information when deciding the most suitable route for their people development. Whilst all the candidates were talented and well experienced within their role, the development centers enabled them to decide on who would be a best fit for strategic roles for the business going forward.

APS has since been able to provide continued support for the managers and their development, supporting them with reviewing their 360 and looking after the admin of this system.

Even in the company’s early days, Bob and Joyce Hogan always aimed to improve the global workplace through the delivery of their assessment suite. By arming talented people at organizations like APS with cutting-edge products and data, all Hogan has to do is get out of the way and they’ll handle the rest.

Topics: leadership development, future leaders, personality assessment, distributor, development

Losing Sight of the Individual in Group Development Programs

Posted by Jocelyn Hays on Tue, Feb 16, 2016

I often come across articles focused on development efforts for women and millennials. These two demographics – gender and age – are treated as key considerations in employee development program design. The thought seems to be that if organizations could only figure out how to develop women and young professionals, they could solve myriad talent woes from homogeneous leadership teams to high potential retention. While there is value in addressing the unique needs of demographic groups (I’ve blogged about developing women leaders in the past), by focusing solely on demographics we are missing individual characteristics that should be examined when investing in development efforts.

When building and delivering development programs, organizations may find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, individual interests, motivators, strengths, and weaknesses are simply too varied to apply a one-size-fits-all development approach. On the other hand, it is impractical to employ unique development techniques for individual employees and doing so would ignore the common challenges they may face based on shared characteristics, such as age and gender.  

Luckily, there is a middle ground that will lead to more effective development programs for women and millennials, along with any other specific group. In addition to incorporating standard elements for all participants, employee development programs should also include measures of individual characteristics. When used at the beginning of a program, these measures – whether they be interest surveys, assessments of values, strengths, and derailers, or multi-rater feedback instruments – provide useful insight in multiple areas.

  • Setting appropriate development goals: Personality assessments and multi-rater feedback tools will help program participants identify strengths to leverage and blind spots or performance risks that may hinder their effectiveness.
  • Designing valuable development activities: Understanding participants’ strengths and weaknesses will help program designers build valuable development electives. For instance, a participant who is low Interpersonal Sensitivity may benefit from activities focused on gaining buy-in and influencing others. A participant who is high Interpersonal Sensitivity may be better served by activities designed to improve conflict management capabilities.
  • Designing engaging development activities: Understanding participants’ interests and values ensures the activities offered throughout the program will be motivating and rewarding. For instance, a participant with a high Affiliation value may look for activities that allow for collaboration whereas a participant with a high Power value may be more engaged in activities that include a competitive element.
  • Evaluating program effectiveness: Including individual needs in program design and delivery provides additional criteria for program evaluation. In addition to looking at group-level results over time (e.g., representation of women in leadership, retention and promotion of young high-potentials), individual effects (e.g., improvements in performance, relationships, and career pathing) can be measured.

What experiences have you had with development programs designed for specific demographic groups? Please comment with your thoughts and lessons learned!

Topics: development

12 Days of Development

Posted by Scott Gregory on Thu, Dec 04, 2014


As I was running on the treadmill at the gym today, I noticed a sign on the wall that was titled The Twelve Days of Fitness. I was intrigued. Not because I’m an athlete – after all, the only action shot of me in our high school yearbook pictured me lying on the floor, catching a quick nap during gym class – but by the notion that, if I simply did something for 12 days, I might improve at it.

As I thought more about the idea that we have to do something in order to improve, I began to wonder how many of us really focus intently on our development for 12 days in a row, and what the result would be if we did. Of course, 12 days isn’t really enough time to develop a new skill, but it is enough to get a good start at doing so. I think the results might be impressive. Development means we actually have to do something differently and that we have to be consistent about it. And psychology really does offer some wisdom about how people can change, so I’ve tried to incorporate into the following list what the science says about how people best develop. Here are the 12 Days of Development:

Day 1:  Use high-quality assessment as a source of feedback on the activity you want to get better at. Your HR partner might be willing to help. Beware of assessments that provide information on what color your personality is, what kind of tree you are, or the cartoon character you most resemble.

Day 2: Listen carefully to the feedback. Don’t judge it. Don’t explain it. Don’t ignore it. Assume the feedback is true and reflect on what you might do to improve as a result of it. In what ways should you develop your skills? 

Day 3: Clarify your goals. What do you want the outcome of your development efforts to be? What does success look like? We know from goal-setting research that having a clear goal beats not having a clear goal when we are trying to accomplish just about anything. 

Day 4: Clarify the steps you will take to improve. Be specific and be practical. Try to choose steps you could take tomorrow on the job, during the normal course of your work. These steps don’t need to be lofty (e.g., reading the entire 6-volume compendium, The Tao of Donkey Hiking). They could be things like, “Delegate sales reporting for December to Jean.” or “Share my thoughts at least twice during the next department staff meeting.” 

Day 5: Give your plan a reality test. Share your goals and action steps with your manager, your HR partner, peers, direct reports, or anyone else who might have an interest in your improvement. Simply ask the question, “If I take these steps, am I likely to improve in meaningful ways?” 

Day 6: Eat lunch. Ok, this isn’t really one of the 12 Days of Development steps, but I could only come up with 11, so I thought I’d just slip this one in. Besides, all of this development requires energy. You should be well-nourished. 

Day 7: Based on the outcome of your reality test, finalize your plan. Put it in writing. Ideally, share it with your manager and others who have a vested interest in your development. 

Day 8: Begin implementing the actions in your plan. Remember, if you aren’t a little uncomfortable about the actions you are taking, you probably aren’t really stretching your skills. Stretch your comfort zone a little every day. 

Day 9: Reflect on how the actions you took on Day 8 worked out. Did you share your perspective twice during that staff meeting? Did you provide your perspective using cogent points, or did you sound like a blithering idiot? What would other attendees say about your input? Based on your reflection, what should you keep doing in the next meeting? What should you stop doing (clue: the blithering idiot stuff)? What should you start doing? 

Day 10: Based on your reflection, update your action plan. Add, modify, document, and try again. Although development planning in many organizations is a once-per-year event, the best development plans are living documents that are updated often. Don’t be afraid to update and modify your plan as you go. 

Day 11: Seek nuggets of feedback about your efforts. Are your actions visible to others? Are your actions moving you in the direction you want to go?

Day 12: Repeat. You didn’t really think you were going to be fully developed after 12 short days, did you? This actually is the most important step. Development is a continuous loop and an unfolding story, not an event that has a definite finish line. 

I hope you will try the 12 Days of Development. FYI, I’m going to try to follow through on the 12 Days of Fitness, so we’re all in this together. Right now, however, I have to find a nice chunk of gym floor. I need a nap.

Topics: development

Launch of GMAC Reflect

Posted by Dustin Hunter on Wed, Feb 20, 2013

ReflectFive words: Online, interactive, competency development report.

These words have never been used in the same sentence to describe any type of personality assessment output, ever. To that end, Hogan is proud to announce the launch of GMAC Reflect. Over the last 2 years Hogan (myself included) has worked alongside the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to create Reflect, a self-directed customized learning experience for MBA students.

GMAC, as you may know, is the power behind the business school GMAT exam for prospective MBA students. However, Reflect was created in an effort to provide self development programs to their core market. Reflect is also very affordable because we know students will be buying it directly. A Reflect ID/login is valid for 3 years, so you can log back in and see the newest learning resources and text.

Reflect measures graduate students across 10 business competencies that aim to enhance professional interactions, job performance and career prospects. GMAC conducted a wide variety of focus groups and corporate surveys to solidify the key competencies that cover over 80% of existing corporate competency models. Ultimately, the differentiator here is that the assessment and the personal development tool are online and can be used without a facilitator or coach.

Each individual competency offers detailed information based on a person’s score as well as related learning resources that are meant to enhance your skills and behaviors. There are also targeted actionable tips to improve your performance. In true Hogan speak, Reflect also provides a list of 12 behaviors to start, stop, and keep doing based on your scores. Students can then add learning resources, recommended actions, and tips from the report to a customizable work plan. Lastly, Reflect offers a career benchmarking section where an individual can compare their own competency scores against high-performing professionals in 14 business careers. This feature is aimed at the competitive MBA student to fully understand how their own behaviors might be measuring up.

Topics: competencies, development, academic

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